Bubba Wallace Addresses His Road Course Weakness Heading Into the Rolex Daytona 24

Published 01/25/2024, 12:12 AM EST

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After having his career-best season in 2023, 23X1 race car driver Bubba Wallace is all geared up for the challenges of 2024. From an outside lens, a P10 finish is a huge result, but Wallace has been vocal about not doing enough in what was his breakthrough season. And his self-criticism is not cynical at all; in fact, Wallace has now come out to speak about his shortcomings that he looks to improve on this season.

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While he was successful in getting placements at the Ovals and short races, it was the road course that proved to be a real hurdle for Bubba Wallace in 2023. In an interview with FOX Sports NASCAR journalist Bob Pockrass, the 30-year-old addressed how challenging it has been for him to get results in road course races and acknowledged how he has come a long way in getting better at racing on road courses.

Bubba Wallace shares his Roval and Watkins Glen experience

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23X1’s No. 23, Bubba Wallace, registered an impressive 10 top-ten finishes and 5 top-five placings in his NASCAR Cup Series breakthrough seasons. The closest he came to clinching the win was at Texas Motor Speedway. Apart from that, he had three #.4 placements in races at Vegas Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway, and Charlotte Motor Speedway. He sure was consistent in performing at the ovals and the short tracks, but his weakness was again exposed on the road courses.

Wallace shared his experience racing on road courses and how he is dealing with overcoming this hurdle. “We made a massive improvement last two road course races and we felt really good and confident about it and had fun with it. Roval was madness but we were fast all day. Watkins Glen figuring the place out a little bit, still, we got a lot of room to grow. But from the start of the season and the years prior it’s been not even the same ballpark.”

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The Watkins Glen and Charlotte Roval are the two exceptions he spoke of, where he finished P12 and P16. However, if you take a look at his other road course results, Wallace has a long road ahead of him. The Chicago Street Race and Circuits of America with P31 and P37 finishes highlighted Wallace’s struggle on the road course.

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Certainly, there has been a lack of consistency from Bubba Wallace across different racecourses and this is where he will need to improve massively. However, with the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season closing in, he is prepping hard for the challenges he will face soon.

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Wallace to compete at the IMSA Pilot Challenges in Daytona

The trio of Toyota Racing drivers, Bubba Wallace, John-Hunter Nemechek, and Corey Heim, will all run at the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge at Daytona. This event precedes the historic 24-hour race at the Daytona International Speedway. SMOOGE Racing will field two entries for the four-hour race, with one team comprising the trio of Wallace, Nemechek, and Heim. They will share the No. 23 ToyotaGR Supra GT4 EVO, with Mobil 1 acting as their sponsor. A second entry from SMOOGE will comprise John Geebreght, Kevin Conway, and Corey Lewis.

We are very excited to run two GR Supra GT4 EVOs at Daytona this year. Having Bubba, John Hunter, and Corey in the 23 car is a major honor and testament to Smooge Racing,“ said Team Principal Kevin Conway. “I’m also looking forward to racing with John Geesbreght and Corey Lewis in the PRAX Leadership GR Supra. John and I have had a lot of success together, and we are looking forward to building on that at Daytona.”

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With the NASCAR Cup Series season on the horizon, Bubba Wallace is looking to make the most of the pre-season practice runs to make sure he is sharp and ready for the main event.

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Written by:

Chintan Devgania

252Articles

One take at a time

It was the Fast & Furious movies that acted as my gateway to the world of cars and motorsports. Later, as I completed my undergrad in Journalism, I learned how to channel my thoughts and opinions, which only helped me kick-start my career as a sportswriter. Having written multiple copies for the Scottish Daily, I am now looking to expand and contribute at EssentiallySports as a NASCAR writer, informing, enlightening, and entertaining the fans with my stories.
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Edited by:

Shivali Nathta

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